3h’s structural and spacious intervention brings the verdant Budapest’s campus back into balance

Photographs: Tamás Bujnovszky and Balázs Danyi

With the help of a new underground spine, 3h architects try to create unexpected connections on the MOME campus in order to enhance creativity.

Photo: Tamás Bujnovszky

Photo: Tamás Bujnovszky

It all started 140 years ago with the establishment of the “Hungarian Royal National School of Arts and Crafts” on the Pest side of the Hungarian capital. The current university has been located on the green hills on the Buda side since 1954, partly housed in a neo-classical building that was designed by Zoltán Farkasdy (1923-1989). Farkasdy was at that time studio director at KÖZTI, the Public State Building Design Company. Interestingly, if one observes the front façade of the building it seems as if the right wing has been demolished, but in reality it was originally designed in this asymmetric way. According to 3h architects, the asymmetry may have been a little revenge for being forced to work in the mandatory style of Socialist Realism. The symmetry of the composition of the campus buildings would have been achieved by the so-called C building – which was never constructed.

After the Second World War the name of the school was changed into the Budapest College of Applied Arts. It was at this college in the 1970s where Ernő Rubik was a professor of architecture. During that time he came up with designs for a three-dimensional puzzle and completed the first working prototype of the world famous Rubik’s Cube puzzle in 1974.

In March 2006 the Hungarian University of Arts and Design changed its name to the current Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME). It was named after László Moholy-Nagy, born László Weisz (1895-1946), a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as a professor in the Bauhaus school.

In 2015, an open design tender was launched and a total of 22 offices submitted their applications. The 1st prize plan was won by the 3h architectural firm, the 2nd prize by sporaarchitects and the 3rd by Archi-kon, with all three architectural offices from Budapest.

Photo: Tamás Bujnovszky

Photo: Tamás Bujnovszky

Photo: Tamás Bujnovszky

Photo: Tamás Bujnovszky

The complete article is published in Autumn 2020 issue of Piranesi No. 42-43/Vol. 28.

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Project Data

Architects: 3h Építésziroda 3h architecture
Lead Architects: Csillag Katalin, Gunther Zsolt
Project Architects: Kállay Gábor, Békesi Tamás
Team: Bálint Ábel, Baranyai Balázs, Boromissza Júlia, Dobrányi Ákos, ifj. Farkas Ádám, Farkas Ádám, Galamb Emese, GarayKiss Dorottya, Gyuricza János, Parizán Borbála, Péteri Zsolt, Tari Krisztina
Client: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design
Call for Submissions: 2015 October
Construction: 2017–2019 June
Year of Completion: 2019
Total Area: 15 851 m²
Structural Engineering: Szabó András † (YSAKO Kft.)
Mechanical Engineering: Bukovics János (G&B Plan Kft.)
Electrical Engineering: Kun Gábor (Hungaroproject Mérnökiroda Kft.)
Fire safety Engineering: Nagy Béla (Flamma Contra Kft.), Pukánszky Gabriella (Nokesy Design Kft.)
Garden and Landscape Design: Kapás Enikő (Departer Mérnöki Iroda Kft.)
Kitchen Technology: Gauland András (Teco-Gastro Bt.)
Environmental Engineering: Ruttkay-Miklián Ágota
Acoustics and Environmental Engineering: Kotschy András (KOTSCHY és Társai Kft.)
Construction Design: Sipos Gergely (Arkkitehti Építész és Mérnökiroda Kft.)
Conservation: Branczik Márta
Road and Traffic Engineering: Dobrocsi Tamás (Create Value Kft.)